About Us  
     
 
 
Suzanne Hock Vandergrift
Founder and Artistic Director
  Suzanne Hock Vandergrift is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1996 she received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with secondary studies in vocal performance and dance. Not only is Suzanne an experienced teacher – having taught music, dance, gymnastics and theatre arts at other artistic institutions in NC for the past 15 years, she also has a extensive performance background in musical theatre as a dancer, singer, actress and accompanist. Suzanne has taught both MUSIKGARTEN© and Orff Scheulwerk©, and is currently completing the Dalcroze Eurhythmics Certification at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Other specialized classes include the Zena Rommett Floor Barre© and the Lynn Simonson Jazz Technique©, also taught by our school director, Suzanne Vandergrift, who is certified in these methods practiced by professional dancers worldwide.

In August 2003, Suzanne partnered with Harald Petrini and David Tolbert from Pleasant Ridge Christian Fellowship in their vision to develop and grow a community Fine Arts Program that celebrated God through the arts. In September 2008, at the closing of Pleasant Ridge Fine Arts Academy, Suzanne, along with a dynamic community of teachers, ventured out to continue their vision at Greensboro Performing Arts. God has been incredibly faithful to their vision and the academy now has grown to over 250 students involved in Music, Dance & Theatre Classes, led by the giftings of our five dance instructors and five music teachers.

"God gave rhythm, experienced in the simple, steady pulse of a heartbeat, which inherently draws people to music and movement like nothing else can. Everyone can dance and it is my passion to create an atmosphere in which children and adults, boys and girls can freely learn to express themselves and worship through movement and dance."


About SPVA

GPA's Theatre & Music Program has now partnered with the passion and vision of Summerfield Performing & Visual Arts, Non-Profit (SPVA) in connecting young theatre artisans with the greater community. Children helping children, inspiring young artists to reach out, that we all can make an difference using our God-given talents and gifts.

SPVA, Non-Profit is a group dedicated to building a community of area artists with a dual purpose: to offer training and performance opportunities for young artists, as well as generating awareness and fund-raising for various other nonprofit organizations, such as Urban Ministry, Children's Home Society of North Carolina, Second Harvest, and Triad Ladder of Hope.


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Emily Adams
Director of Classical Ballet and Pointe
  Emily Adams has dedicated a lifetime to the performance, choreography, and pedagogy of classical ballet. A BFA Ballet undergraduate of the N.C. School of the Arts and a MFA Drama & Theatre Graduate from the University of Hawaii, Emily pursued her New York professional training with master teachers Igor Schwezoff, Igor Youskevitch, Leon Danilien, Benjamin Harkarvy & Margaret Craske. She performed nationally with the New York Ballet Repertory Company, performing as a soloist in Jose Limon's La Malinche, Anne Sokolow's Ballade, Raymonda, Swan Lake & Napoli, other professional credits include the New York Chamber Dance Ensemble, Hawaii Dance Theatre, John Davidson's mid-Atlantic tour of Oklahoma and the Duo Ridels Dance & Comedy Team. She has been on the dance facilities of Radford College, New York State University, and the University of NC at Greensboro.

Emily has produced choreography for the Chapel Hill Ballet, the Greensboro Ballet, Busch Garden Dancers, N.C. Shakespeare Festival, and UNCG's productions of Pippin, Pirates of Penzance, Oklahoma, and Camelot. Emily's contribution to the local & state dance community have been through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the N.C. Arts Council, and the United Arts Council of Greensboro to product the Greensboro Ballet Festival in the 1980's. Prior to joining the Greensboro Performing Arts, she directed the Ballet Arts Studio in Greensboro for nineteen years.

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Carla Crotts-Massa
Director of Triad Tap Company
Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop Instructor
  Carla Crotts-Massa grew up dancing throughout NC and the US. Her educational background includes a BS in Biology from High Point University and graduate coursework in Physical Therapy from Winston-Salem University. Carla began her dance career at the age of 2 at her father's disco club in Winston Salem, NC. She then continued to study ballet, tap, and jazz, lyrical, pointe, and hip-hop under the direction of Sheryl Patton at Dance Connection in Greensboro, NC from 1986 – 2006. Her studies also include ballet and modern at the Center for Advancement Studies at Southwest Guilford High School and the High Point University's dance team. She has also taken classes with master choreographers Frank Hatchett, Dan Karaty, Laurie Johnson and Liz Imperio just to name a few.

She worked with Jared Grimes for many years and competed in numerous dance competitions including Showstoppers, Star Systems, and Marvona. Carla has taught dance to all ages, from age 3 to adult, and coached many dance and cheerleading teams. Carla has an extensive performance background and has attended conventions including the Paula Abdul's Company Dance, and the Tremaine Dance Company.

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Terri B. Rooks
Ballet Instructor
  Terri B. Rooks began her classical ballet training at the Virginia Ballet Company under the instruction of Tatiana Rousseau—a pupil of Madame Olga Preobrajenska, and a principal of Paris’ Le Theatre des Champs Elysees—and Oleg Tupine—a principal and sensation of the Ballet Russe. Broadening this training at summer intensive programs at the School of American Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet School, she went on to study and perform at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, BFA, under Joseph Levinoff and Emily Adams. While at the University(cum laude), she was a soloist and choreographer. For more than 25 years, Terri has traveled extensively across the country as a judge for Showstopper: American Dance Championships, the first dance competition for young dancers in the United States. Her considerable ballet technique knowledge has served her well, as she has judged with professionals from Broadway stages, Hollywood, and national and international ballet companies.

Terri has taught and choreographed as a guest artist at various dance schools in North Carolina. All the while, Terri has worked as an editor for publications such as Delta Air Lines’ Sky magazine, US Airways Magazine, AAA Traveler, and Conversations, the publication for Wells Fargo’s wealth investors. Her articles about dance, the arts and culture have been enjoyed by international readers. Terri lives in High Point, North Carolina with her husband of 32 years. She has three grown children who do not dance, so she loves to celebrate the performances and accomplishments of dancers everywhere.


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Jaclyn Michelle Surso
Musical Arts Director, Voice Instructor
  Jaclyn Michelle Surso recently finished her Professional Artist Certificate fellowship with the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem. While being an A.J. Fletcher fellow, she recently performed the role of Magda in Menotti’s The Consul as well as Rosalinda in J. Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. In her first year as a fellow she sang the role of Sandrina in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. During this performance, “Jaclyn Surso lacked nothing in vocal power and agility, conveying Violante/Sandrina’s emotional turmoil,” (William Thomas Walker of CVNC). She also gave a very successful performance of Antonia in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann during her time at Fletcher. The summer of 2014 held exciting plans for Jaclyn as she traveled first to Spain to help advertise the post graduate degree music programs at UNCSA by giving concerts. Following this, she spent the rest of the summer in Italy at Renata Scotto’s summer program, Music Academy International. Here she made her Italian debut singing the Countess in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. During the summer of 2013, Jaclyn was in San Francisco singing with the Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute. She performed the role of Miss Jessel in Turn of the Screw by Britten, as well as scenes from Don Giovanni as Donna Elvira, Otello as Desdemona and Der Rosenkavalier as Die Marschallin. Jaclyn received her Bachelors and Masters in music performance at The Cleveland Institute of Music and is currently a student of Dr. Marilyn Taylor.

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Megan Cleaveland
Voice & Piano Instructor
  Megan Cleaveland has been performing and teaching voice and piano in the Piedmont Triad for over five years. Her operatic credits have taken her to Italy, France, Germany, and Spain, and she regularly performs with local companies including Piedmont Opera, the Carolina Chamber Symphony, the North Carolina Master Chorale, and the Salisbury Symphony. During her fellowship at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, she performed many leading roles and completed advanced studies in languages, dance, and acting, culminating in the Master of Music in Voice degree. Megan is very excited to join the GPA family. In addition to giving recitals, her voice and piano students regularly secure lead roles and music scholarships and gain entrance into music degree programs including performance and music therapy. Megan is equally excited teaching piano fundamentals to small children, coaching older students in operatic and musical theatre roles, and everything in between. Megan believes any involvement in the arts is a gift to self and society.

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Amanda Diorio
Jazz and Modern Instructor
  Amanda Diorio is a dance educator at Elon University and Greensboro College. She was raised in suburban Boston studying movement, music, and theater. She holds an M.F.A. in Choreography from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a B.F.A. in Dance from Temple University. She has taught, performed and choreographed dance extensively in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Florida and the Carolinas at universities, studios, schools and community centers. She currently instructs at several colleges and studios in the triad while living in Greensboro with her young daughter.
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Abigail Ray Davidson
Jazz and Modern Instructor
  Abigail Ray Davidson is a dancer, teacher and choreographer originally from Burlington, NC. A recent graduate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, under the direction of Susan Jaffe, Abigail graduated with a BFA in Dance with a concentration in Contemporary. She has had the pleasure of performing original works by Patricia Casey, Brenda Daniels, and Juel D. Lane, worked in collaboration with Wayne McGregor Random Dance Company and has performed works by Merce Cunningham and Twyla Tharp. She has studied the techniques of Cunningham, Limón, Graham, Release, Horton, Cecchetti, ABT syllabus and Vaganova. Abigail has also taken various hip-hop, swing, broadway and jazz classes over the years. She began teaching in the UNCSA Preparatory Program in 2015 and became permanent faculty in 2016. Abigail has choreographed new works at Arts Evangelica in High Point NC, Arts Alive Fine Arts Studio and Burlington Dance Center in Burlington, NC.


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Martha-Margaret Cotten
Early Childhood Dance, MUSIKGARTEN
  Martha-Margaret Cotten has been a dance educator for 15 years, teaching ballet, modern, creative movement, and improvisation to ages 3- adult as well as establishing a systematic monthly curriculum for preschool aged dancers. After receiving training through the York County Concert Ballet Company and the South Carolina Governor’s School of the Arts, she danced professionally with Kinetyx Dance Ensemble based out of Charlotte, NC. She has experience running her own independent music and movement business, and is currently certified to teach Musikgarten to babies and toddlers.

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Cassandra Shintay
Theatre Instructor & Director at GPA and NGFS
  Cassandra Shintay Cassie Shintay has always had a heart for musical theatre and dance. Her educational background includes a BA in Theatre, Minor in Dance from Greensboro College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Cassie began her stage career at the age of 3 at a local dance studio in Raleigh, NC. She studied ballet, tap and jazz. After a family move to Garner, NC she found a passion for clogging. She served as captain on the Feet on Fire clogging team. During the day she would rehearse her school musical while at night she would spend hours at the studio preparing for the team's next competition. After 8 years she decided to put up the clogging shoes and devote her life to the theatre. Cassie has performed in many musicals and plays with roles ranging from Lefou in Beauty and the Beast to Lady Montague in Romeo and Juliet.

Cassie has served as a key team member for multiple theatre conventions including the North Carolina Theatre Conference and the South East Theatre Conference. Along with her school experience she has toured the Mid-West with Prairie Fire Children's Theatre and spend a summer in Olympia, Washington choreography for 600 theatre students.

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Alvarez Delgado Jones
Guest Artist, Contemporary & Modern
  Alvarez Delgado Jones, born and raised in Greensboro, NC, began his journey with dance at the age of five competing in various dance competitions nation wide. He began his technical dance training (contemporary/ballet) at Greensboro Dance Theatre and Greensboro Ballet during his senior year of high school. From ages 9 to 17, he performed in many musicals with the Community Theatre of Greensboro such as The Wizard of Oz, Footloose, High School Musical, High School Musical Two, and Hairspray, under the direction of Mitchel Sommers. He was also a dedicated member of the 102 Jamz Hip-Hop Dancers where he choreographed and shared the stage with many performing artists. After graduating high school, Alvarez first attended North Carolina A&T State University, studying professional theatre. He then transferred to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he furthered his study of Contemporary Dance under Dean/Former Principal Dancer of ABT Susan Jaffe and Brenda Daniels. Jones has studied many techniques, such as Cunningham, Límon, Alexander, Horton, Graham and Ballet. He has performed the works of well-known companies such as the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Lucinda Childs, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, Jose Limon and Doug Verone. Summer 2015, he participated in the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company summer intensive on a full scholarship at New York Live Arts. Alvarez has also choreographed on students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, instructed summer workshops at local studios. He debuted his first piece The Rebirth at Emerging Choreographer at UNCSA Fall 2015. Soon after, he received an internship with UNCSA Alumni and Katy Perry’s dance captain, Cassidy Noblett. He would like to thank the many instructors, family, and friends who helped to mold him into the artist he is today.

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Kaitlyn Moss
Musical Theater Instructor & Director
  Kaitlyn Moss is a graduate of Greensboro College, class of 2013. She has a B.A. in Theatre with an Acting Emphasis. She also completed minors in Music and Dance. For several years, she was an intern at The Green Room's Summer Shakespeare Theatre Institute in her hometown of Newton, NC. There she helped teach condensed versions of Shakespeare's works, culminating at a performance at the end of the week. Kaitlyn also completed an internship at Theatre West Virginia in 2011. Recently, she performed in the regional premier of "O Guru, Guru, Guru or why I don't want to go to yoga class with you." The show was originally produced at the Humana Festival for New American Plays. She is currently working with the Musical Theatre classes at GPA.

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Angela Dalton
Theatre Instructor & Director at NGFS
 

Angela Dalton graced the stage at the age of 3 dancing to the “Scooby Doo” theme song and has been performing ever since. Her career in the performing arts began at a young age with Ann Brodie's Carolina Ballet in Columbia, SC. At age 13 she decided to expand her theatrical talents by studying voice and acting. In high school, she received numerous awards and critical acclaim for her professional and educational performances including three Best Actress award from the Southeastern Theatre Conference. She continued her education at Shenandoah Conservatory where she studied Musical Theatre Performance. With "The Big Apple" only a train ride away, she took advantage of classes at Broadway Dance Center and The Actors Studio where she was fortunate enough to take master classes with some of Broadways finest including Ann Reinking and Savion Glover. After moving to Greensboro to be closer to family, she studied Directing at UNCG. She has directed and choreographed over a dozen productions and has won awards for both, including selection for the Southeastern Theatre Conference Fringe Festival for her production of Assassins and Best Choreography at MTI’s Junior Theatre Festival for Aladdin. She believes that her success can also be seen through her students. Many of  whom have been accepted to highly accredited Universities and performed in many professional and community productions. She is very excited to share what knowledge she has as well as grow and develop her own career with the amazing young artists at Greensboro Performing Arts.




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Rex Griffin
Violin and Guitar Instructor
  Rex Griffin is a native of Greensboro and has been teaching guitar and violin for over 25 years. Rex studied with guitarist Greg Hyslop and trumpeter Al Neese for many years. He has lead a gypsy jazz band, the Hot Club of North Carolina, for 30 years and has played with greats like Babik Reinhardt (Django Reinhardt's son) and Frank Vignola to name a few. He is now teaching in conjuntion with GPA. For more information on guitar and violin lessons, contact Rex Griffin at 336.312.1730, email griffinrex7@gmail.com or register online for a consultation.

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Richard David Auvil
Piano Instructor
  Richard David Auvil Richard received his doctorate in collaborative piano at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) where he was a recipient of a Hayes Fellowship. His past education includes an MM in piano performance from UNCG and a BFA in piano performance through the Robert E. Cook Honors College at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP).  In addition to this degree-related study, he has spent nearly a year at the University of Zagreb, Croatia.  As a staff pianist at University of North Carolina School of the Arts and as a freelance musician, Richard’s experience encompasses countless recitals, performances, masterclasses and lessons with every major instrument and voice type.He has worked as a rehearsal and performance pianist for operas, and as a musical director/accompanist for musicals. His development is also marked by experience in the choral, sacred, and pop music genres. 

Richard holds positions at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church and St. Paul the Apostle Church both in Greensboro. In demand as a private instructor in the area, Richard has taught dozens of students at multiple locations. Richard enjoys traveling and has performed in various capacities in Australia, Austria, Croatia, and Italy. He participated at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria during the summer of 2010 where he received coaching in the German language as well as piano.

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